Superproducer Scott Rudin announced on Tuesday that he will be retreating from his film and streaming projects, in the wake of a Hollywood Reporter exposé that accused the EGOT winner of decades of abusive and inappropriate behavior. The announcement came mere days after Rudin told The Washington Post that he’d be stepping away from Broadway for similar reasons.
“When I commented over the weekend, I was focused on Broadway reopening successfully and not wanting my previous behavior to detract from everyone’s efforts to return,” Rudin said. “It’s clear to me I should take the same path in film and streaming. I am profoundly sorry for the pain my behavior has caused, and I take this step with a commitment to grow and change.”
Despite Rudin’s use of the temporal phrase “stepping back,” A24—the indie film distributor that’s home to many of Rudin’s projects—has reportedly ended its business relationship with Rudin, according to Variety. As such, Rudin is no longer involved with the Jennifer Lawrence film Red, White and Water; the Steven Yeun–led film adaptation of the Tony-winning play The Humans; the Alex Garland film Men; or Joel Coen’s The Tragedy of Macbeth, starring Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand.
In the original THR story, multiple former Rudin assistants and employees shared their nightmare experiences with the producer, alleging that he was prone to sadistic behavior and violent fits of rage, often hurling inanimate objects, like a stapler and a baked potato, at various employees. Since the THR piece, other news outlets have reported on Rudin’s abusive behavior, adding fuel to the firestorm currently engulfing the Hollywood power player.
Matters reached a head last week when Tony winner Karen Olivo announced that she would be leaving her starring role of Satine in the Broadway musical Moulin Rouge due to the industry’s silence in the face of injustice—specifically citing the Broadway and Hollywood communities’ muted reaction to the allegations against Rudin (who has no involvement in Moulin Rouge). On Sunday, David Graham-Caso, the twin brother of former Rudin assistant Kevin Graham-Caso, posted an emotional video on Twitter directly addressing Rudin and demanding that he face “real consequences” for creating a toxic work environment, something he believes contributed to his brother’s struggle with mental health. (Kevin died by suicide last October.)
Friends of the late Graham-Caso, like mental health service worker Joe Chacon, spoke with Variety on Monday about the lasting negative effects that working for Rudin allegedly had on Kevin. “We knew he was suffering from depression, anxiety, and PTSD,” said Chacon. “And it’s like, Of course. You were abused daily. I see how this affected him, how this abuse had collateral effects in his life.”
The tidal wave of abuse allegations and horror stories crashing down on Rudin has temporarily pushed the producer out of an industry over which he once reigned supreme. Rudin is one of just 16 people to achieve a competitive EGOT, and is the only person to do so solely as a producer. His forthcoming projects include Netflix’s The Woman in the Window and a Broadway revival of The Music Man, starring Sutton Foster and Hugh Jackman. Over the weekend Foster answered a question on Instagram Live about Rudin’s involvement in The Music Man going forward, saying that both she and Jackman hope to create “an incredible, safe, inclusive, loving, amazing environment for everyone involved.”
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